The other day, engadget posted a story Editorial: Despite shaky 48 fps Hobbit preview, high frame rates will take off. We were all so excited back in 2009 when the Canon EOS 5D Mark II was upgraded to 24fps in a firmware update because 30fps looks “too much like news or a soap opera.” What do you think the future will bring? Is 24fps dead? There's a poll question just below the videos… please let us know your thoughts!
If you've kept up with recent discussion (hopefully you haven't been hiding in a hobbit hole somewhere), Peter Jackson is shooting “the Hobbit” on Red in 3D as well as shooting it at 48fps and James Cameron (“Avatar”) has been talking about how 48 or 60fps is so much better (watch this 2009 interview where he talks about sports being done in higher framerates – “24 frame display rate is a 20th century idea”)
James Cameron discussing 48 fps (from June 2011)
Well actually, the Hobbit preview wasn't shaky, it was smooth — maybe too smooth — and that's the point. "It does take you a while to get used to," Peter Jackson has admitted, referring to the surprisingly fluid motion of his 48 fps movie footage. But is he right to think audiences will even give it a chance? The launch of high frame-rate (HFR) cinema is surrounded by publicity in the run-up to the Hobbit's debut on December 12th, but it equally has a lot going against it. For starters, the film's 48 fps preview wasn't exactly received warmly. On top of that, the video-style appearance of HFR has a long history of being disliked by movie-goers — past attempts since the 1970s have all flamed out.
85 years after the first 24 fps movies, the same number of frames are still going stubbornly through the gate (digital or otherwise) each second, so that must be what "filmic" is, right? Or will we look back on 24fps as the bad old days? Read on to see if these new/old-fangled frame speeds might survive, and though a 48 fps Hobbit trailer isn't available, we've provided a couple of clips to help you judge what two-dimensional HFR looks like.
So what do you think?
I personally haven't seen enough 48fps footage yet to know, but when looking at the Hobbit trailer and watching the samples on engadget, I'm thinking I don't like it. I've certainly seen enough 30fps stuff to know I like 24fps better there, but what about the super high rates?
And to Mr. Cameron's comment in the video above… sure, I want my sports in super high quality, but I don't want my movies to look like video. What about you?
Some other reactions:
- The Hobbit’s 48 FPS Format Ruins Film’s Artistry, Previewers Complain
- ‘The Hobbit' 48FPS Footage Divides Audiences At CinemaCon
(cover photo credit: screen grab from the trailer)